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My wife has lately been thinking about ways to improve our home, and has settled upon installing crown molding in our 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms as one of the things she would like to do. My question is this: for two people who have little DIY experience, is installing crown molding something we can do ourselves, or should we call a professional?

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It can be done yourself.
What you will need: Compound Mitre saw. Drill + countersink bit. Construction adhesive Drywall plugs (likely not necessary, but best to have them on hand) 3 step ladders or scaffolding.

You need 3 people. One in each corner, and one in the center, doing the actual installing. You will be working with long pieces that break easily, so you'll need to support the work at all times.

The other problem is getting the material home without breaking it.

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Also a T-bevel to measure the angles in the corners (or see my answer to another question for an alternative method). – Niall C. Oct 19 '10 at 15:54
They also make kits for crown that are much easier to use (with blocks in the corners instead of mitre cuts). Personally I don't like the look much, but if you like the look, they are much easier to install. – Eric Petroelje Oct 19 '10 at 16:16
One of these can be very helpful "Bosch Miter finder Digital Angle Finder". (It's a bit expensive, but it calculates all your angle cuts for you). amazon.com/Bosch-DAF220K-finder-Digital-Extension/dp/B001MUHXQ6 – Tester101 Oct 19 '10 at 16:33
Instead of the drill+countersink bit, you could go the route of compressor+finish nailer as well. – Doresoom Oct 19 '10 at 17:38
I'm not saying don't get a power miter saw. I'm saying that, if you don't need the compound capability (i.e. the ability to change both miter and bevel angles), you can save some money by not springing for a compound miter saw. I own a compound miter saw and use it all the time, but could count on one hand the number of times I've ever had to adjust the bevel angle. – Mike Powell Oct 20 '10 at 16:25

I saw Tom Silva install this stuff once on the "This Old House Hour." It's pre-primed polyurethane crown that installs using clips you screw in to the wall. You can even get corner blocks to eliminate the need for tricky cope cuts in the corners. It sounds klugey, but the finished product looked pretty good at least on TV, and it looked to be way easier for a first-timer to install than regular crown.

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NICE! We're thinking about installing crown molding too and this stuff would be PERFECT. Thanks. – Mike B Oct 20 '10 at 17:43

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